Woke up to glorious sunshine and a much better sense of exactly how gorgeous Hana really is. Did I mention there were dogs? They had looked fairly forlorn when we arrived, but now they were just happy, mellow creatures basking in the sun. Not particularly frisky, but with no objection to my coming over, petting, scratching, belly-rubbing etc. Tootsie, Penny and Muffin.
After hubby had coffee, we eased on down the road to Kahanu Garden, which was exactly the opposite of the situation at Hana Botanical Gardens.Everything was maintained to perfection. Massive green expanses, surrounded by various native plants. Breadfruit and coconut and hundreds of others, with amazing shoreline as well. Acres and acres of manicured beauty. Strangely enough I wouldn’t have minded a smidge of wildness. I know. Picky, picky, picky.
The major attraction at Kahanu Garden is Pi`ilanihale Heiau. Constructed from lava blocks, it dates from the 16th century, and is 341 feet by 415 feet in extent with a 50-foot high front wall. It’s really, really BIG folks.
On the way down we had sort of a rambly conversation about old sit-coms and why the dad is always an architect. I need to do so research and find out if they’re as many as I think there are and then ponder what it says about the 60’s/70’s zeitgeist.
I bought a nice tank top, which I then managed to flake out and drop on the way back, so I had to go back about a quarter of a mile until I found it.
We went back to the B&B and packed up for the ride home. (Excuse me, the hotel. I was getting way too attached to that place.)
I will now officially apologize to the Road to Hana. When done on a beautiful, sunny day, without perpetual fear for one’s life it is a breathtaking experience. I was surprised at how much danger we’d actually been in on the way out. I hadn’t even noticed the sheer drops and the height and the twistiness etc. Hell, I hadn’t even realized how much of the ride had been near the ocean because I’d been focused on the whole rain in my face and OMG, we’re going to die thing.
If you get to Maui, you should definitely go to Hana. However, you should not do it in the rain. On a motorcycle. I’m not sure if you should bother staying overnight, but if you do, call JoLoyce and tell her the idiot who locked herself out of the Flower Studio sent you.
We made fabulous time. (I thought hubby took some of it a little faster than necessary.) Got back to Paia around 230PM and had lunch at Charley’s. Pretty good cheeseburger, but it totally knocked out my hunger for the rest of the day and most of the night, so no beg fancy dinner to make up for the mac&cheese.
Hubby went to return the Honda and I immediately glommed onto my computer for LJ, memage, chat and most of all to make sure that the spoilers about the Torchwood series finale were right enough to spare me any J/I schmoop. Thanks to all who reassured me that J/I were a total non-factor and both instances of hugging were matched by a Jack/Gwen hug of equal or longer duration. (And thanks RTD/Chris Chibnall for not ruining the finale with that crap.)
I didn’t get back in the hot tub, but I did decompress, take a shower and get dressed up in my one big clothing purchase for myself, a long floral print dress, as well as the pearl earrings hubby had given me a few days earlier. This was the only time I really decked out on the whole trip and I gotta say it did feel nice to be girly and pretty, especially since we were going out for karaoke!
(We watched some of the Merrie Monarch contest and were very impressed with a group from Oakland. )
First we had to do our last round of gift shopping, which also mean one more Aloha shirt for hubby, an asymmetrical design of Japanese origin with a crane on it from a store called the Aloha Shirt Museum which has a lot of shirts in vintage styles. He’d already bought the “Elvis” shirt with the red pattern that Elvis wore in Blue Hawaii.
It was after 9:00PM, but karaoke at the Kobe Steak House (which as you may recall from the 2006 trip is not a kobe steak house, but more a Beni-hana style affair with a sushi bar attached. Hubby sat down and had some sushi. I still wasn’t hungry, but managed to nibble a bit of edamame.
I was just totally psyched to do karaoke. Kobe Steak House has a Pioneer Laser Disc machine with all the goofy videos, but great arrangements that made me love karaoke when I first started. (Bush Garden in Seattle has one too.) The machine at the Mint is broken and no one seems to be able fix it or even find someone who can.
They also have a tradition called “hana ho” which has nothing to do with hookers on the road to Hana, but rather means that if you get a lot of applause or the KJ likes you, you get to sing again right away, so even though I only got up twice, I got to sing four songs, with arrangements I knew perfectly so I could really kick some karaoke butt.
Travelin’ Man, Baby, I Need Your Loving, Live for Today and This Magic Moment.
By 1130PM, hubby was starting to yawn so I decided to call it a night and have a bit of leftover pizza while I packed for our 950AM pick-up.
Got up for final email check, but decided due to over-stuffed suitcase to carry laptop in carry on, even though my battery only carries about an hour and a half charge and I’ve been foolishly remiss in ordering a new one.
Last hour on lanai. Writing, writing, writing.
950AM pickup arrive at about 1005AM but we still got there in plenty of time (we thought) only to find that our 1:00PM flight was going to leave at 1235PM, but we were still ok.
As you may have heard, both Aloha Airlines and American Trans Air went under the week I was in Maui. Since I was booked on United, it wasn’t a big problem for me, but it meant the airport was full of unhappy people who’d been stranded for days trying to get out of Maui. Of course there’s worst places to be stranded, but if you gotta get back to work….
By the way, since I’m not a leisure agent, this won’t affect me much either, except that for some reason Aloha was running a flight between John Wayne, Orange County and Reno that one of my clients flies at least twice a month. No idea what he’s going to do now.
We did agricultural check-in, sky-cap and security, where so help me, an old guy was trying to get 16 oz. of honey through as carry on. I’m sure you know how that ended up.
So I’m at the departure gate, chilling out, still writing, expecting a prompt departure and a slightly early arrival in San Francisco, when we heard THE ANNOUNCEMENT—The “flow valve” was broken and they had to fly a part in from Honolulu and then install and test, so we were on decision for 3:00PM. (Mind you, it wasn’t even 12:00N yet.)
I did a fairly good job of staying calm. I was frantically working on a story, so that was a good distractions and I had all those Life On Mars episodes that I’d been downloading, just not much battery to watch them on.
I had gotten through the first few scenes of the first episode, including my awe at John Simm’s sexiness split equally between the 70’s styles and the Manchester accent, when they called boarding at 1:30PM, which made me think that if a flow-valve had in fact been flown in from Honolulu, it had been stuck on with chewing gum and certainly not tested. I didn’t care. I wanted out of town. Actually I never wanted to leave Maui, but I sure as hell didn’t want to hang around the airport.
Then came a major panic-attack because I couldn’t find my boarding pass and they were already over-booked and trying to bump people. Being cheap bastards they were only offering a $600.00 travel voucher OR a free tickets for the 48 states. They were not going to let me on that plane without my boarding pass.
After about 5 minutes of freaking out, I realized that my boarding pass was inside the notebook where I’d been using it as a bookmark.
We boarded into our little two-seat side of the plane, which would have been tolerable, but we actually caught a break. The flight attendants were trying to do some re-arrangement so that a couple (of what I won’t say) could sit next to their offspring, which meant they had to give up their cushy exit row seats. The stews were offering the seats to the couple in front of us, but thank god they were old and the husband had a foot thing that would keep him from doing the emergency exit row stuff, and we were next in line and YES!!!! We got the exit row right behind the bulkhead. Lots of leg-room. Pretty much the closest thing we were going to get to first class on this flight. Wheeeeee!!!!!
As hubby said: Not all luck is bad.
Except that about an hour over the Pacific ocean, Mr. Folksy Sounding Pilot gets on the phone and mentions that it’s getting a little warm in the back of the plane and the flow-valve doesn’t seem to be working and we might have to turn around and go back to Maui.
At this point, there was a mighty uproar throughout the plane and I think there would have been a mutiny and murder if he’d even tried. So the rest of flight went hot and cold and hot again, but damn it, we made it.